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The Tempest, of all the ships in Eve, has the strangest history.

In the beginning, all the Tier 2 battleships, the Raven, Megathron, Apocolypse, and the Tempest were focused on being heavy hitters.  The Raven was given both a missile velocity (hits targets quicker) and a rate of fire bonus,  the Megathron was given a tracking speed bonus and a damage bonus, the Apocolypse was given an optimal range bonus (improves overall range thus reducing misses as well as improving quality of hits) as well as a bonus to capacitor use which allows the laser weapons to fire for longer periods of time.  The Tempest was the only one given two direct damage bonuses: Rate of Fire and Damage.  Add those options to a shield tanked Tempest, with two or three gyros in the lows.. and you had a beast.

Except.. that it wasn’t.  At that time Projectiles were quite anemic.  The only option most Tempest pilots had was to fit 1400mms (which required RCUs and CPUs) and use it as a sniper platform.  This worked great.. until they gave every ship an across the board Hitpoint raise.  Well, Tempest pilots adapted and began using it as an AC platform.. using various e-war, usually ECM to help balance the difference.  Sure enough, ECM was nerfed to the point that only had any real effect on bonused Caldari ECM ships.  So, there was a switch to tracking disruptors.. and short thereafter.. tracking disruptors were nerfed so that only Amarr ships could use them to real effect.  Then there was the MWD changes.  Next came speed changes that reduced all ships base speed.  Then came the mass changes, which for some ungodly reason had the mass of the Tempest higher than any other ship!  The overall effect just crushed the use of Tempests, and it got so bad that you could get better damage results putting lasers or hybrid weapons on a Tempest than either ACs or Artillery (and even that wasn’t very effective because Minmatar ships generally have the lowest capacitor and capacitor recharge rate of all the races).

And because the Tempest had originally been designed as an active shield tanker, the midslots and the lowslots were of no help as you could not set up either a shield or armor passive tank that could match any other battleship.  This also meant that a typical Tempest had less survivability against the Titan’s then Doomsday weapon.  With both Sniper and Remote Repair Battleship fleets being almost exclusively used in the battlefield, it was not uncommon for Minmatar battleship pilots to be turned away from fleets and requested to fly Hurricanes or some other non battleship.

Multiple attempts were made to make the CCP aware of the fact that they needed to address this problem.  However, often such discussions were shut down by a particular CCP Dev, who shall remain nameless for his utter ignorance and arrogance.  This particular dev would spout off that the Tempest needed no changes, and every suggestion made by players and CSMs was shot down under the guise that the players just didn’t know what they were doing.  Years passed while players fought with CCP regarding this, with this Dev constantly blocking changes.  Through various conversations with that Dev, it was found out that the particular Dev never fought in a Tempest solo.  In fact, most of his “success” claims turned out to be completely bogus because he only flew the Tempest in fleets.. he had no clue how bad it was because he never actually put it through any real tests.  In the end, the uproar finally got to be so great and so organized and was able to present so many real facts next to the Devs “well, it feels balanced” attitude (yes, that is an actual quote from one of the CCP Devs – a quote he lived to regret), that CCP could no longer not take notice.

CCP Dev Nozh actually looked at the projectile data that they had and CCP started to realize the Tempest was VERY underpowered.  Even then it was still a fight, but eventually the Tempest was changed so that it had more base armor than shields.  While it was a minor change, it could now compete to a decent extent with the Megathron and the Apocolypse.  (The Fleet Issue Tempest on the other hand, took a hit and CCP traded a midslot for a lowslot.  This actually reduced the DPS of the Fleet Issue Tempest as most (well.. all) pilots had been shield tanked, and usually fit with two or three gyros in the lows.  However, having the option to have tackle as well as additional utility mids somewhat blunted the negative.)

Which brings us up to today, the modern EVE battlefield.  While the Tempest is no longer the top sniper, the changes to Projectile ammo, Projectile Artillery, as well as to the Tempest itself has now allowed it to have its place.  As a Sniper, it can produce a Massive strike alpha using 1400mms, though its rate of fire has been dramatically increased.  A well skilled Sniper Tempest pilot can make frigates and cruisers at long range very unhappy.  The Brawler AC version is starting to regain popularity too as its two extra high slots and its ample mid slots allow for very effective mixes of E-war, while it now has enough tank to remain a reasonable time on the battlefield.  Whereas once you would have been turned away, now you are welcomed with open arms.

Let’s look at the current Tempest strengths:

  • 5% bonus to Large Projectile Rate of Fire per level.
  • 5% bonus to Large Projectile Damage per level.
  • Base Velocity – 120m/s
  • Signature Radius – 340mm

Those four items are thing I feel are most critical when looking at fitting a Tempest.  The two damage bonuses are gravy and are pretty easy to work with.  The other two are a little more subtle.  The Base Velocity is higher than all other battleships except for the Typhoon.  This may not seem like a big deal, but it can be useful given certain situations.  The Signature Radius is often the most ignored bonus to the Tempest, yet its crucial.  All large turret weapons have a signature resolution of 400.  This means that firing at a Tempest will yield, not only less hits, but less damaging hits.. and some of those hits won’t do any damage at all.  That is certainly something not to be ignored, and in smaller gang fights, such would be a bonus if you can manage a decent active tanking configuration.

A typical Sniper configuration looks a little like this:

[Tempest, Typical Sniper Version]
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Damage Control II
Beta Reactor Control: Reaction Control I
Signal Amplifier II

Sensor Booster II, Targeting Range
Sensor Booster II, Targeting Range
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range
100MN MicroWarpdrive II
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range

1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, Tremor L
1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, Tremor L
1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, Tremor L
1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, Tremor L
1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, Tremor L
1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, Tremor L
[empty high slot]
[empty high slot]

[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]

This is an unrigged, cheap setup sniper.  Rigs will certainly improve performance, but in this currently configuration you will be able to reach past the 200km mark both in targetting, whereas your optimal will be about 140km.. and 212km at optimal+falloff.  The volley is the key here at 5811 damage using Tremor.  It’ll give you a bit of tank for in case for those “OHCHIT!” moments.  Generally a pretty solid ship overall and I have used it many a times against both -A- and U’K.

The Brawler AC is the more.. versitile one.  I will put up a couple RR fits I’ve used, but at this point you can pretty well fit the Tempest with a real variety.. though again, within reason.  This next setup is one that I use on occasion.  My drone skills are not that great, plus with how often we have to move, often a drone boat may not be as ideal.

[Tempest, Omni Tank Version 650mms]
Gyrostabilizer II
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

100MN MicroWarpdrive II
Stasis Webifier II
Warp Disruptor II
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron
Heavy Capacitor Booster II, Cap Booster 800

Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, EMP L
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, EMP L
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, EMP L
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, EMP L
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, EMP L
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, EMP L
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I

Large Projectile Burst Aerator I
Large Trimark Armor Pump I
Large Trimark Armor Pump I
Hammerhead II x5
Hornet II x5

This particular configuration gives it a decent 108k EHP (EFT Numbers – Level V standard), a DPS of 713, and fairly good secondary offensive ability in the dual Neutralizers.  If you need more longevity and don’t mind losing some DPS, switching out the ROF Rig for another Trimark will net you 119k EHP at only a loss of 60 DPS.  The downside though is that you are going to move like a drunken whale on land.

In an attempt to utilize the potential signature radius and speed, I have begun operating a ship similar to the one posted below:

[Tempest, Wolf Setup]
Gyrostabilizer II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

100MN Afterburner II
100MN MicroWarpdrive II
Heavy Capacitor Booster II, Cap Booster 800
Target Painter II
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I

Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, EMP L
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, EMP L
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, EMP L
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, EMP L
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, EMP L
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, EMP L
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I

Large Projectile Burst Aerator I
Large Trimark Armor Pump I
Large Trimark Armor Pump I
Hornet II x5
Valkyrie II x5

You’ll notice it has both a MWD and AB.  This is currently just a test platform and while there is one similar to this out in the combat arena, I’m sure there will need to be some adjustments made.  This setup has a 108k EHP, an align time of 12.8 seconds (a loss of .7 seconds), and has a DPS of 684 using standard EMP.  Changing out one of the plates for a Gyro drops the EHP to 87k while raising the align time to 12.5 seconds and DPS to 771.  Changing the 1600mm plate with a EANM or Adaptive Nano improves the align time, but the tank is still at 94k EHP.  So, I still think there is alot of work to be done.. and it may yet be a dead end road.  But, I won’t know until I’ve seen how it truly reacts in the real world.

Thank you as always for reading my blog, I hope you found it useable, entertaining, and informative.. and remember, keep your guns loaded.. and your enemy running.

edit: Edited for grammar

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